Bernie Sanders was Right

Bernie Sanders was Right

Donald Trump’s campaign, while preposterous and inconsistent, has thrown a bright light on a social divide in America that is deeper and more severe than most of us realized.  There is no doubt that Trump is a narcissistic ass who has the ethics of an alley cat with a grossly enlarged libido. Nonetheless, despite his bombastic claims and morally degenerate behavior, many Americans are willing to turn a blind eye to his racial, ethnic, and misogynist hate mongering, and believe that “Donald really tells it like it is.”

People, we know something’s wrong, but let’s not forget what is right.

What’s Wrong?

Clearly, the great social experiment of equal opportunity and mutual respect in our Democracy is far less mature than it ought to be at this point in our history.  What has happened to stir up such vile and destructive emotions among so many people?

I believe that the current, worsening social divide is a product of an even more stark divide in the United States, namely the economic chasm between the wealthy and the rest of us.

During most of the 20th Century, the strength of our nation was largely drawn from a large and vibrant middle class that bridged the divide between the rich and the poor.  That middle class provided a vital pathway to success for people in poverty who wanted to better their conditions. It provided the reachable goal of helping a next generation live better than the parents had. Anyone could get ahead through honest work and intestinal fortitude. There was credible reason for hope.

But the dawn of both the information age that supplanted our manufacturing economy and the political shift of tax burdens from the rich to the middle class, changed the role and nature of the class structure in America.  Today, the poor have little means or hope to achieve upward mobility.  They have been nearly completely disenfranchised from the American Dream.  They are surrounded by greedy predators, like Mr. Trump, who create bogus “universities” touting the promise of a bright future.  Unsuspecting and well meaning people take on student loans to pay for an ultimately bogus education and a useless degree.  Because student loans are not forgiven by bankruptcy, people least able to pay back loans trade their hopeful futures for a lifetime debt.  And the rich get richer.

While the poor lose hope, many in the middle class face the legitimate fear of falling below the poverty line to join the ranks of the hopeless.  The middle class is not shrinking because more people are getting rich.  The erosion of the middle class is from the bottom, not the top.

Meanwhile, the rich buy the allegiance of law makers in local, state, and national political arenas and quietly arrange the rules of the land in ways that allow them to systematically siphon off more wealth from middle class and the poor.  Nowhere is that more evident than in the tax codes of all levels of government.

There is no doubt that the top 10% of wealthy Americans pay significantly less than their fair share of taxes.  Don’t listen to politicians or political pundits who, like Mr. Trump, make up false statistics to the contrary.  Fully 50% or more of the wealth of this nation is owned by that 10%.  By far, more taxes are collected from our 50% than are collected from their 50%. End of story!

This economic disaster began with the Ronald Reagan notion that if we cut taxes for the wealthy, all kinds of great things would happen.  They would invest all that untaxed money to create tons of new jobs for millions of people. Some of the wealth of the top 10% would “trickle down” like soft rain from a cloud, nourishing us all.

It simply didn’t happen then, and it will not happen now. The rich don’t use their money to create rainfalls for anyone. Most use money to get more money. Few, if any people benefited more financially than the rich during the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of of the 21st.  They have built their rigged system.  All they need do now is maintain it.

What’s Right?

The spiral we are in where the rich profit at the expense of the rest of us can only be stopped if the rest of us, 90% of the electorate, demand that:

  • Tax codes are simplified and the wealthy are made to pay their fair share without exception. The purpose of taxes in a democracy includes being a mechanism for a healthy distribution of wealth among the electorate.  That needs to happen.
  • The power of free speech is equitably shared by all. One’s right to speak freely is sacrosanct, but the decibel level of one person’s right to speak should not be allowed to drown the speech of others.  Free speech needs to include the concept of an equal right to be heard.  That’s where the power resides.  That is why we desperately need to impose limits on how much money any one individual or group of individuals, or a corporation or a union, or a political action committee can contribute to the decibel level of any one candidate.  The idea that free speech in America includes the right to drown out the speech of others who may not have a mega-phone is dangerous and ethically contrary to the bedrock upon which this nation was built.
  • Good jobs are created by government to repair and improve the infrastructure we all depend on (even the rich) for transportation, communication, education, law enforcement, welfare, and commerce etc..
  • Education for the information age is widely made available and affordable if not free in many cases.

The gulf between greed and simple comfort is wide.

The gulf between greed and happiness is wider.

Being part of the solution is always better than being part of the problem.

Bernie was right.

Can the World Afford a Malignant Narcissist as President of the US?

Can the World Afford a Malignant Narcissist as President of the US?

Q: Can the world afford a Malignant Narcissist as President of the United States?

 A: Probably not, but let us not test the idea.

What is Malignant Narcissism?  Below is a bullet point rendition of Wikipedia’s definition.

As you read it, ask yourself, is this not Donald Trump?

“Malignant Narcissism is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of:

  • narcissism,  […no one loves Donald as much as the Donald does, and nothing that Donald does is intended to benefit anyone but Donald. His proposed tax break for the middle class is part of an overall tax strategy that would hand the wealthy top 10%  – including himself – a much bigger tax break.  Trump thrives on being in the limelight, disregards any inconvenient truth, and cannot acknowledge his mistakes to the point that, obviously contrary to his own best interests, he doubles-down on his numerous blatant blunders.]
  • antisocial personality disorder, […does bragging about being able to grab any woman’s crotch simply because he is The Donald qualify?  He has absolutely no respect nor an ounce of empathy for anyone but himself.]
  • aggression[…he sues everyone who dares to cross his path, is a misogynist, a bigot, and indiscriminatly intimidates any who might be in his way] and
  • sadism […refusing to pay workers who live paycheck-to-paycheck, and the act of firing someone are among many harmful situations that seem to give Donald great pleasure].
  • Often grandiose, […he genuinely thinks his five-letter name should be valued at more than a billion dollars per letter, nuff said?] and
  • always ready to raise hostility levels […like the schoolyard bully, he will pick on anyone he thinks is weaker than himself.],
  • the malignant narcissist undermines organizations in which they are involved […can America afford this?] , and
  • dehumanizes the people with whom they associate” [Women, Mexicans and Other Hispanics, Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Political and Business Opponents,  etc., etc.].

Power in the hands of a malignant narcissist is extraordinarily dangerous. The malignant narcissist does not want to lead, but to rule. Most of those who fought to depose the last major malignant narcissist ruler over 50 years ago are no longer with us.  Few are left who saw first-hand how dangerously evil a popular conniving malignant narcissist can be.

Donald Trump’s candidacy presents danger to the world, and many world leaders know it.  His bluster, reversals of expressed opinions, personal slanders, and complete disregard of truths that are in conflict with his desires, make him unreliable, untrustworthy, and insanely volatile.  These attributes might be useful in gaining the upper hand in business negotiations but it is a terrible mix when dealing with leaders of other sovereign nations that have national pride and military options.  Putin would love to play with someone who thinks Twitter is a great political forum.  Trump’s buttons are easy to see and easy to push.  All it takes to make him totally irrational is to insult him personally. (Have you noticed that he never says he was “attacked.”  Any assault on his character or comments is a “vicious attack.”  Apparently in his self-absorbed mind having the temerity to attack Donald Trump must be vicious.) 

Do you really want Donald Trump in charge of our nuclear arsenal?

Beyond Frightening – Simply Unacceptable.

We are in these seriously dangerous waters largely because for the last six years the Republican-controlled Congress chose to abdicate it’s responsibilities and freeze the government to undermine the remainder of Obama’s two-term presidency. Trump’s popularity is the genuinely frustrated but reckless grass roots response to the uncompromising leadership of Congress.  Perhaps Republican incumbents in both houses who are running for re-election as “down-ticket” candidates under Trump’s name this year will suffer for their intentional and petty gridlock.*

The last political malignant narcissist who rose to power on a wave of an indignant grass roots backlash nearly destroyed their world and ours.  Luckily, he didn’t quite have access to atomic weaponry.

The next one will.

 

 

 

*Ironically, the political career of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is reeling from self-inflicted wounds suffered in his very own gridlock scandal .  The now infamous George Washington Bridge traffic jam, deliberately engineered by Christie’s Administration to “punish” the Mayor of Fort Lee, has backfired on him. Christie is well suited to Trump’s sycophantic entourage.